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Green Garden Bakery Youth Leader Winter Retreat

The Green Garden Bakery (GGB) is a youth social enterprise in the Heritage Park neighborhood of North Minneapolis teaching youth about the environment, healthy and nutrition, and entrepreneurship through the creation of a youth run "green" veggie dessert business. GGB was started in 2014 by a group of youth who had participated in years of cooking/gardening programming in Heritage Park and wanted to take it to the next level The business went full-circle from youth locally gardening and growing green tomatoes, baking the organic cakes, creating eco-friendly packaging and marketing, to final sale at co-ops, farmer's markets, and festiv in Minneapolis. The 2014 GGB sold their green tomato cakes at two events and raised over $1,500. GGB was absolutely the most successful youth afterschool program in the neighborhood and some of our most at-risk students flourished within the structure of the program. It directed their energy and desire for attention towards a project that would benefit the neighborhood while providing them with tangible skills that could be utilized within future environmental endeavors. The youth presented their project at the Hennepin County 4-H Showcase and received an award for the most "community-centered and impactful" project. The 2014 youth participants voiced their desire to take their business and grow it into a larger operation that can benefit more youth and adults in the community. Therefore, in 2015 they expanded the model for GGB by adding leveled classes so that youth with a variety of skill sets can be incorporated in this program. Also, in 2016 the older youth leaders formed a Youth Executive Team of 15 teens. These youth leaders work tirelessly to grow GGB and make all of the business decisions for Green Garden Bakery from finances to sustainability to social media to baking and sales. They run weekly committee meetings, bake and sell on the weekend, and attend a number of community events as Heritage Park representatives.

Funded by North Minneapolis, MN (November 2016)

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